I am grateful for campaigns that aim to teach the masses that it’s wrong to prey on other people simply because you can, be it because of social status, mental capacity and reasoning or physical ability. However, the message is still too slow to spread. As I was reading the blog of this very brave woman who has chosen not to remain silent, I am struck by the fact that we women (and girls) have to constantly have a recording running through our heads, and that is, “What can I do to not be attacked?” With what happened to the suffragettes, they had to be aware that simply demanding the right to vote would result in verbal slander, humiliation, beatings and rapes. It was their punishment for being female and wanting to vote. In the present day, we women still have to think about what we can “handle” when we go out into the world – can we handle being verbally assaulted, humiliated, raped or beaten?
Really, the question should be, “Why do we teach men and women that it’s a woman’s fault for being verbally and/or physically assaulted?” If she just would have stayed silent, if she just would have found a man to walk with her, if she just would have stayed inside when it started getting dark, if she just would have had water to drink instead of a cocktail, if she just would have smiled at that man, if she just would have NOT smiled at that man, if she just would have carried a gun, if she would have just taken self-defense classes, if she would just not gone to school…well, the list goes on and on. But where is the recording for those that carry out these acts of violence against women?